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Healthcare Workers, Nursing Home Residents First

An advisory committee says healthcare workers and nursing home residents should be prioritized to receive a SARS-CoV-2 vaccine once one is authorized in the US, the Financial Times reports.

The Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices, which advises the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, met yesterday to discuss how to prioritize a vaccine. Under their proposal, the first phase, dubbed phase 1a, would prioritize about 21 million healthcare workers and about 3 million adults who live in long-term care facilities for vaccination, according to ScienceInsider. Phase 1b would focus on essential workers like teachers and police officers, while Phase 1c would include adults over the age of 65 or with pre-existing health conditions, it notes.

The committee, ScienceInsider adds, voted 13-to-1 in favor of their proposal. 'We are using the principles of maximizing benefits and minimizing harm, promoting justice, and mitigating health inequity," Jose Romero, the ACIP chair, tells FT.

In the US, both Pfizer/BioNTech and Moderna have submitted applications for emergency authorization for their coronavirus vaccines to the Food and Drug Administration, which is slated to review their applications in mid-December.

ScienceInsider notes that the CDC is to now weigh whether to adopt the recommendations and that individual states make the final call on whether to follow them.